Electronic cigarettes became available in the U.S. in 2007, and they quickly skyrocketed in popularity. Just seven years later, there were about 2.5 million e-cigarette smokers in this country, and more than 400 brands on the market. When demand for any product grows too quickly, problems can arise. E-cigarettes are no exception. These devices are linked to multiple serious health risks, including conditions as ominous-sounding as “popcorn lung”. Recently, however, the spotlight has been on e-cigarette explosions, and lawsuits are starting to add up.
In 2015, the American e-cigarette industry was estimated to be worth about $1.5 billion. Despite the associated risks, this figure is expected to grow to $10 billion by 2017. The most concerning aspect of e-cigarette sales is the misconception that they are somehow safer than traditional cigarettes. For starters, e-cigarettes are linked to multiple health risks. But the unknown risks are the most troubling. Until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created production and marketing restrictions in 2016, production, marketing, and sales of these devices were barely regulated. Due to this lack of regulation, many people have been harmed by e-cigarettes.
The Risk of Explosion
Although rare when compared to the number of e-cigarettes in use today, these devices can explode and leak harmful substances. Between 2009 and 2014, a total of 25 separate explosion incidences was reported. Apparently, an e-cigarette’s Lithium-ion battery is prone to leaking, especially when contained in a particularly small cylinder, such as an e-cigarette. When this fluid leaks, it can result in a buildup of pressure. This combustible and flammable fluid, when combined with an overheated e-cigarette, can cause the device to explode.
Multiple injuries have been reported due to exploding e-cigarettes. These include:
- Damage to the face
- Damage to the tongue and mouth
- Property damage
- Severe burns from fire
- Severe burns from chemicals
The Harvard study found that 47 of the 51 tested e-cigarette flavors contained diacetyl.
Tips to Avoid E-Cigarette Explosions
The plethora of online “tips to avoid e-cigarette explosions” further emphasizes the risk.
- Buy American made e-cigarettes
- Buy a trusted brand
- Read the instructions carefully
- Avoid an overheated atomizer
- Keep your e-cigarette away from water or liquid
- Only use the charger that came with your device
- Only charge your device in a clutter-free area
- Do not charge your device for longer than necessary
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed against e-cigarette manufacturers in multiple states, including Florida, California, and New York. One injured e-cigarette user, Rachel Berven, claims she was seriously burned and suffered dental damage when her device exploded, dowsing her in battery acid.
In another case, Vicente Garza’s left index finger had to be amputated and he had to have surgery on his tongue following an e-cigarette explosion. And a Kentucky man, Josh Hamilton, was severely burned on his leg after the device exploded while in his pocket.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Personal Injury Law Firm
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have more than 50 years’ experience protecting the rights of accident and injury victims. If you’ve been injured, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and medical expenses. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.